In her five years as Director of Boston Ballet School, Margaret Tracey has transformed the School from a community-based regional dance academy, to one of the leading dance educational institutions in North America.
Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Margaret Tracey began studying ballet with her mother, Nancy Tracey, at the age of six. In 1982, at the age of 15, she was accepted as a student at School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, where she was awarded the Atlantic Richfield Foundation scholarship for three years. While at SAB, Tracey was also one of fifteen scholars nationwide to receive the Princess Grace Foundation – U.S.A. award for 1985-86, in recognition of her “exceptional promise and dedication to excellence.” In 1986, Tracey joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist during the spring season of 1989 and to principal dancer in 1991.
In her celebrated 16-year career with New York City Ballet, Tracey has been featured in ballets such as George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Ballo della Regina, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Coppelia, Divertimento #15, Donizetti Variations, Harliquinade, Ivesiana (“The Unanswered Question” section), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker (“Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Dew Drop”), Serenade, Sonatine, La Source, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tarantella, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 (“Theme and Variations”), Valse Fantaisie (1967 version), Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony and Who Cares?.
Tracey originated a featured role in Jerome Robbins’ Ives, Songs, as well as danced in his Afternoon of a Faun, Andantino, The Four Seasons (“Spring”) and The Goldberg Variations. She has originated roles in Peter Martins’ Les Petite Riens, Mozart Serenade, Fearful Symmetries, Reliquary, Zakouski, and the role in the “Bluebird Pas de Deux” in The Sleeping Beauty, and also danced the role of Princess Aurora; Richard Tanner’s Sonatas and Interludes and William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman. She has also originated roles in works by Trey McIntyre and Ib Andersen. Tracey toured with NYCB in Europe and Asia, and appeared as a guest artist with the Royal Birmingham Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet.
Throughout her career, she has been a guest performer with various concert groups traveling throughout the world. She danced the role of “Marzipan Shepherdess” in the film version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, released in the winter of 1993. She has also appeared in “Live from Lincoln Center” and the nationally televised Kennedy Center Honors. In addition to dancing, Tracey staged Martins’ Zakouski for the Bavarian State Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet, as well as his Fearful Symmetries for the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Since retiring from New York City Ballet in February 2002, Tracey has been a guest teacher in New York and throughout the United States. She joined Boston Ballet School in 2005, teaching as a faculty member of Summer Dance Program and was appointed Director of Boston Ballet School in 2007. A dedicated teacher and arts education advocate, in 2009 Dance Teacher Magazine featured Tracey in their cover article. In 2011 she was a recipient of the Jerome Robbins Award, awarded annually to an outstanding person or art institution, in recognition of her work with the choreographer.
She works closely with Boston Ballet Artistic Director, Mikko Nissinen, to align Boston Ballet School with the main Company as well as the Boston community. She has been instrumental in designing Boston Ballet School’s programming and curriculum to provide comprehensive ballet training, develop well-rounded and versatile students, and uphold the School’s dedication to excellence and access to the art form of ballet.